There were a couple of thoughts that came to mind today as I was reading Sunday’s readings. The first was how much we need to pray for Shepherds, meaning our Pastors, Priests, Ministers and all who proclaim, teach and lead others to follow Jesus. In reading the prophet Jeremiah 23:1-6, these words, though prior to the coming of our true Shepherd Jesus, still have great meaning today…
“Therefore, thus says the LORD, the God of Israel, against the shepherds who shepherd my people: You have scattered my sheep and driven them away. You have not cared for them, but I will take care to punish your evil deeds.”
Sin and Satan wants to bring us all down and the best way to do it would be to attack those whom God has chosen to lead His flocks. We know God is infinitely more powerful than Satan and his fallen angels but because of the gift of free will, temptation along with our human appetites, can lead us to perform the evil deeds prophesied by Jeremiah.
The second thought today was the importance of rest and time alone with Jesus. The Apostles had been traveling from place to place, preaching, healing and teaching the Gospel. They were happy because by the grace of God, all was going extremely well. My guess is they probably wanted to continue moving on but Jesus said to them…
“Come away by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while.” People were coming and going in great numbers, and they had no opportunity even to eat. So they went off in the boat by themselves to a deserted place.
Where is our deserted place? I have my prayer room and spend early mornings before work and late evenings before bedtime when it is quiet. I do not think we can really know Jesus unless we are able to spend quiet time alone with Him. For those of us who are married or those in very close friendships, we know that we have to spend time alone with each other to know each other more intimately. I think it is the same with our Lord.
I hope everyone is having a beautiful end to their weekend. In beautiful sunny Southern California, God is blessing us with rain. Thank you Jesus! Amen!